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Re: [whatwg] Administrivia: Update on the relationship between the WHATWG HTML living standard and the W3C HTML5 specification

From: Bronislav Klučka <Bronislav.Klucka@bauglir.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2012 15:32:07 +0200
Message-ID: <500FF557.90404@bauglir.com>
To: whatwg@lists.whatwg.org

>> Canonical means neither "correct" nor "accurate", those words have no 
>> meaning in this case, you cannot apply them on set of rules (you 
>> first have to have set of rules, to claim, whether something is 
>> accurate or correct within the boundaries of those rules), canonical 
>> means, that those set of rules are valid, that those rules apply.
>> The question is, who will follow those set of rules. Both HTML5 and 
>> HTML TLS can claim to be canonical, both can be valid for different 
>> groups.
> Who are those different groups? As far as I know, the major producer 
> of HTML content is a group usually refered as "web developers".
> I have a genuine question which is: does what any other group think 
> about HTML matters?

I was describing general meaning of rules. The difference between 
validity of rules and correctness of statement.

And different groups? We already had the situation, where some vendors 
were implementing WHATWG and W3C was producing XHTML2 (some 5 years 
ago). WHATWG was valid for (some) vendors, W3C for W3C... the outcome is 
history (and very pleasing for me).


>
>> Let's just hope all major vendors will chose the same...
> This statement seems very upside down to me. Some people thinks 
> standards follow this path:
> 1) a spec is written
> 2) some folks (browser vendors) implement it
> 3) some other folks (web devs) build on top of that.
> I don't know how to say that, but this model is plain wrong. Maybe it 
> works in some industry. Maybe it works for some languages, but it's 
> not the case for web technologies (HTML included).
>
> Reality is that implementors implement and for the most part, the spec 
> codifies *afterwards* what has been implemented. The biggest part of 
> HTML5 has been exactly that. And sometimes between the first 
> implementation and the standard, other implement the same thing. 
> Sometimes with bug, sometimes they get the initial implementors to fix 
> a bug before copying it, sometimes no one care about what has been 
> implemented and it's removed.
>
> In the end, all majors vendors will keep doing what they have always 
> been doing and for most part, since they all have the constraint to 
> properly render at least what others render properly, there will be at 
> worst a de facto standard if the standard either doesn't cover this 
> case or is not properly describing what is actually implemented.
>
> Who writes the spec, what is in the spec is at no point the most 
> important piece of the puzzle, because if no one follows the spec, 
> it's just a useless piece of document.
> My good news for you is the following: all relevant specs will codify 
> what all major vendors choose to do.
>
> David
I completely agree... again,  we live trough that (Netscape and MS box 
model vs. W3C box model; W3C burial of HTML vs. pretty much everybody 
else minus XML zealots; W3C XHMTL2 vs. no-one because no-one cared...). 
I agree with your description of HTML progress. It worked in browser 
wars (W3C codified what actually already worked - what was in spec. 
should actually work) and now without the war but through cooperation 
the progress can be as quick as 15 years ago but much less painfull. 
Only by extensive using of some version of draft can that draft be fully 
tested and, if necessary, udated. And the "specification process" round 
trip is counterproductive.

And my last remark: I hope major browser vendors will chose to follow 
the same path, the same implementation of tasks, but not all major 
vendors are part of WHATWG (as far as I know), and if some choose to 
follow W3C and some different WHATWG drafts of the same task, what would 
happen? (Thou I do not think it actually will happen). To put it simply, 
it does not matter, what either W3C or WHATWG codify, what matter is, 
what browsers implement - it was always about vendors... W3C forgot that.

Brona
Received on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 13:32:54 GMT

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